This is an original American eagle, hand-carved from pine during the early to mid 20th century. The eagle features a touch of original gilt over yellow sizing with hand-painted highlights, emphasizing the eyes and beak.
The eagle is displayed with both wings fully outstretched. The feathers are expertly detailed, especially considering that this eagle is a single-piece carving.
The eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States. The founders of the United States were fond of comparing their new republic with the Roman Republic, in which eagle imagery, usually the golden eagle, was prominent. On June 20, 1782, the Continental Congress adopted the design for the Great Seal of the United States depicting a bald eagle grasping 13 arrows in its sinister (left) talon and an olive branch with its dexter (right) talons. Those arrows are tightly aligned, a symbol of "strength in unity" that's found in the traditional cultures everywhere, from the Romans to the Iroquois. In this case, the bundle of arrows were a nod to the unity of the original 13 colonies. The olive branches emphasize the power of peace.
The eagle motif has since appeared in allegorical engravings, patriotic banners and posters, and in beautiful wooden carvings and bronze sculptures. This is a unique piece of Americana.
Eagle carving is in very good, untouched original condition. Pine construction hand-carved. With hand-painted detail to the eye. Gilt is original, over yellow sizing, also hand-applied.
Dimensions: 10 1/2" H x 35" wingspan x 6 1/2" D.
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